tv Second Look FOX January 12, 2014 11:00pm-11:31pm PST
significant anniversary in the california history of earthquakes. it did more than $20 billion in property destruction and severely damaged some of the area's busiest freeways. here is how we began the 10:00 news on the night of january 17th, 1994. some 17-1/2 hours after the earthquake. >> reporter: a result of the violent 6.6 earthquake that jolted the los angeles area awake at exactly 4:31 this morning. this is the scene tonight. people too frightened to return to their quake damaged homes are spending the night in the open in parks, in makeshift tents, in their cars, sometimes with vehicles circled much like the early settlers of the west. that of course offers little protection from this.
27 people now reported dead. nows nows-- more reported injured. with the ability to deliver that plus food and medical help, the experts predict the problem resulting from this earthquake are just beginning. randy shandobil brought us this perspective. >> reporter: when the skies are blue and the freeways flowing it seems hard to believe that just three years ago today los angeles was like this. 4:31a.m. january 17, 1994, a magnitude
6.7 earthquake epicenter north ridge. collapsed freeways, collapsed apartments $25 billion in damage. >> this is a bullet and the building is just gone. the third floor is now the first floor. >> reporter: but look at los angeles now. remember the shopping center. it's back and everyone we talked to said it's better than ever. >> it's more modern looking. it's prettier. everything is prettier now before the earthquake. >> reporter: and this collapsed freeway, and this one, and this one too all were rebuilt stronger than ever after the quake. >> right here, right here. >> reporter: 16 people were killed in this one apartment building alone when the top two floors collapsed on to people sleeping on the first floor. everyone here most everything is new. new apartments with new tenants. >> i don't mind. i don't mind being here.
>> you figured they built it better than this time. >> they built it better this time, , yeah. >> the recovery seems to be going better this time. >> reporter: san francisco city hall is still closed. the damaged central freeway still stands. work on replacing the cypress structures still slows traffic and seven years later you can still see sights like this in downtown oakland. >> the priority was much greater for north ridge than it was for loma prieta. >> reporter: ken ridge has been a reporter for the times. he says the biggest reason l.a. has recovered quicker than the bay area is politics. >> clinton as president and wilson as governor went all out to deal with the north ridge
earthquake from the very moment of its inception. >> reporter: governor wilson was up for reelection that year and president clinton wanted to demonstrate a commitment to voter rich california. >> the governor i think did a good job. >> reporter: duke majon was governor and was not running for reelection. george bush was president and never focused on california the way that the clinton administration did. remember how people complained how slow the government was to respond to katrina. they didn't complain in california. >> six days i got money sent to me. >> fema had a shop open in every corner. it's like they couldn't wait to help. couldn't wait to get the money in people's hands. >> reporter: people in the bay area could not blame the state
and federal government for low work. here people fought over where and how the freeways should be rebuilt. fought over administrative issues, there were no such fights in san francisco. >> there was no one that said let's not do the repair work. >> reporter: this los angeles completely healed, there are some still vacant lots in north ridge. but clearly three years after the north ridge quake, los angeles has come farther than the bay area has in seven. >> still to come on a second look, the damage the north ridge quake did to the southern california freeway system and the remarkably short time it took to fix it. >> and did california's commissioner sell out the quake victims in north ridge. he says he didn't. his critics say he did. good. good answer.
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look. tonight we're remembering the north ridge earthquake. interstates five and 10 and state routes 14 and 118. the night of the quake and the next day ktvu's lloyd lacuesta showed us just how bad the damage was and what officials were doing right away to get it fixed. >> this is probably the mayor freeway collapse and in an example shows you why you cannot get in or out of los angeles. that was highway 14 crossing over highway 5. if you can imagine, if you can look up that structure all of this was some 40 feet above and then when the earthquake hit it came crashing down. you see the two cars that came down. this is where los angeles police officer, a motorcycle officer died. let me show you up here at the end. you see the green car. it was going north on highway 5. boom, it came down and somehow, somehow he was saved. he fell right short of being
crushed by all of this. there were some reports that per happen there is was a van back there. but the chp says that they have checked out of the little holes in here and there's no van that they can see under here. further up about three miles up, another portion of highway 5 is going to open up. this is going to take weeks maybe even months before it's finally cleared and opened u7. u 7 -- opened up. this is a quarter mile stretch. i know this brings back some memories of what happened up in the cypress structure in oakland in 1989. what took the earthquake seconds to bring down will now take days, weeks or even months to clean up. heavy equipment began working today on the section of highway 5 in silmar where a quarter mile crashed down on a major passage into and out of los
angeles. the government is paying for demolition work which they hope to complete in five days and that's optimistic. >> go down roseburg, go north bound opbd five. in the meantime the diversion of traffic is going well. only one of the four major freeways heading through the san fernando valley is opened completely. caltrans inspectors are checking out every bridge and overpass for signs of weakening that could mean even more shut downs. >> every one of them is inspecting. and now we just have to wait until we get the final results to see how badly they're damaged to make a determination. >> all there is is a two lane frontage road. this is highway 5 with all its five lanes and you can see it's
wide open but this is why drivers can't get south on highway 5. >> how long? >> i don't know. >> meanwhile the most vigil symbols of the north ridge quake was a gathering spot. after the loma prieta earthquake the state inspected 20,000 bridges and overpasses and categorized them. at the highway 14 bridge that collapsed on highway 5 monday morning was categorized low risk. >> this is low risk and the santa monica freeway was low risk and there's still a danger for the people of california. >> there's clearly a risk of living in country where there are faults. you can guard against it and that's exactly what the engineers do. >> secretary of transportation
federico pena also came to the site. >> this part of the deck has moved 10 feet in this direction. and 10 feet in that direction. and that is indicative of a very strong twisting motion. >> but you can't say whether the construction is proper or not at this point. >> clearly the te -- the design today of these two columns is very different than it is now. >> reporter: the north ridge earthquake is another warning. >> in 2002, the u.s. department of transportation issued a report from the 1994 north ridge earthquake and the efforts to fix it. the report credited quick decisions and innovative penalties. the report said the first
repairs began within three weeks and within seven weeks one of the damaged sections of state rout 188 reopened. by early september all of the freeways had been repaired and by november, 10 months after the earthquake all of the connector ramps had been repaired or replaced and were open once again. when we come back on a second look, the lesson that is scientists say the bay area should learn from the north ridge earthquake. and the accusations that would eventually force arizona's insurance commissioner to resign.
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built over carports. they have the same architectural style as the one that collapsed during the north ridge earthquake three months ago and killed 16 people. uc berkeley professors who study earthquake damage say the damage has them concerned about this kind of construction. >> we have the same buildings in oakland, berkeley, san francisco. lots of apartments were build in the 60s and we really need to think about the safety issues in this construction. >> reporter: uc berkeley professors say they learned a lot from this 6.7 north ridge airport that killed 61 people, injured 8,000 and caused billions of the dollars in damage. and the professors say a similar effort quake could cause similar destruction. >> the ways that building failed was where they were connected together. those connection points are where buildings are fastened as they are constructed. the construction techniques used there are very standard
and are the exact same ones that are used here as well. >> we are very vulnerable because we have a large stock of buildings that were designed in times when we didn't have a clear notion of what a big earthquake looks like. >> at an earthquake seminar. professors say almost all type of buildings are vulnerable to earthquakes. that include werster hall built before 1973 where the state upgraded the seismic code. >> there are hundreds of thousands of reenforced concrete buildings. so every reenforced concrete building built before 1973 is a potentially dangerous structure. perhaps most people feel
secure in new seemingly new construction buildings, they say the north ridge quake did damage similarly constructed buildings. >> steel in itself is a very tactile material. it's very strong for earthquakes. california insurance commissioner chuck quackenbush rewould sign in 2000. there were acquisitions that he failed to look at allegations that insurance companies did
not pay out appropriate pay outs. >> reporter: he is down but definitely not out. >> any chance that you would resign? >> absolutely not. there's absolutely no reason. with the record we have, the things we have done for the consumers of this state. no reason other than pure politics to try to force that kind of action from me. >> reporter: norris says quackenbus will get what they want. >> reporter: in north ridge today 20 victims of the 1994 earthquake and some consumer advocates demanded that state officials impeach quackenbush. they showed the cameras their damaged roofs. complained of being low balled
by their insurance companies and complained that quackenbush shielded insurance companies. we're in ipo here and we have no help in sight. >> my question is where was chuck quackenbush where we needed him after the earthquake. now we know he was in bed with the insurance companies. >> reporter: the state senate is investigating. the attorney general and the fair political practices commission. why did quackenbush ignore his own leadership's recommendations. why would he donate a small portion of the fund to nonprofit groups having nothing to do with the earthquake.
to a black film group, and to a sacramento football catch attempted by chuck quackenbush's children and other children. >> it's just part of the work we do. >> what would you say for those who say you're furthering your political career. >> those children cannot vote. >> reporter: but their parents can. >> quacken bush says that he was doing it to bring more
round three tomorrow in an unfolding political drama in sacramento. in one corner embattled insurance commissioner quackenbush. he is accused of spending money meant for insurance clients. he refused to testify and walked out of a hearing. >> the goal of a committee is to find out what the truth is. to find out whether or not the commissioner abused the authority of his office. to find out whether or not he shook down insurance companies to get money to promote his psas and his commercials and nonprofit agencies that he had an interest in. >> reporter: quackenbush refused our request for an interview although in the past he's told ktvu that democrats on the committee are out to get
him. >> this tends to be a desire to try to take you down a peg. somehow tarnish your name a little bit. that's the game can be played in sacramento. >> reporter: quackenbush produced an e-mail that reported that some senators should ambush him. that would some day support quackenbushes claims. then there's a matter of calls to his office from someone who calls himself deep throat. she calls it all a soap opera, a drama, reminiscent of water gate. >> if you remember water gate.
what resinated with everyone was the comment follow the money. in the end here we have a similar situation. if you follow the money, you find out that it didn't go where it was supposed to go. >> reporter: so far, none of the $11 million settlement has gone directly to quake victims. still, senator spier says she's willing to wipe the slate clean if only quackenbush would tell his side of the story. >> if he does not testify. if he chooses not to answer questions that unfortunately will say volumes about his credibility. >> and that's it for this week's second look. i'm frank somerville. we'll see you again next week. e keys
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